NATO Summit | NATO approves its new strategy

The leaders of the allied countries have approved this Tuesday the new strategic concept of NATO in which it reflects Russia as the “most significant and direct” threat to the security of the Alliance, on the first day of the summit of the summit that It is celebrated in Madrid. The document also includes China for the first time, a country that member countries consider a “challenge” to their interests, security and values.

“The document makes it clear that Russia assumes the greatest direct threat to our securityNATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference after meeting with the leaders.

In addition, the new document “reaffirms the key purpose of NATO is to guarantee our collective defense based on a 360-degree approach,” according to the text agreed by the 30 NATO member countries.

The strategic concept is a document that establishes the strategy of the military alliance and had not been renewed for 12 years. The previous strategic concept, which was approved in 2010 at the summit held in Lisbon, recognized Russia as a strategic partner of NATO and did not include China.

A “very different” strategic concept from that of 2010

At the press conference, Stoltenberg stressed that the document approved at the Madrid summit is “very different” from the one agreed 12 years ago in Lisbon. In this sense, while Moscow was a strategic ally for NATO in 2010, the new strategic concept points to the country as the “greatest threat” to Euro-Atlantic security.

The Lisbon summit text stated that “despite differences on particular issues, we remain convinced that the security of NATO and Russia is linked and that a strong and constructive partnership based on mutual trust, transparency and predictability can better serve our security“.

Twelve years later, the new strategic concept – agreed four months after Russia began the invasion of Ukraine – the allies consider that Moscow “seeks to establish spheres of influence and direct control through coercion, subversion, aggression and annexation“.

“Moscow’s military build-up, including in the Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Sea regions, along with its military integration with Belarus, challenge our security and interests“, adds the document.

The Secretary General of NATO has assured that the Alliance “has fought for decades for a better relationship with Russia” and that Moscow “has moved away”. “Relations between NATO and Russia are in the lowest level since the Cold War“, he asserted.

As for China, the 2010 strategic concept did not even mention the Asian giant. On this occasion, the allies believe that China’s “coercive ambitions and policies” They “challenge our interests, security and values.”

“China’s malicious hybrid and cyber operations and its confrontational and disinformation rhetoric target allies and damage Alliance security“, underlines the text. “The deepening strategic partnership between China and Russia and their attempts to reinforce each other to undermine the rules-based international order go against our interests and values,” it adds.

“We are now facing an era of strategic competition. China is substantially increasing its forces, including nuclear weapons, intimidating its neighbors, including Taiwan,” Stoltenberg said. “China is not our adversary, but we must take into account the challenge that it represents“, he stressed.

The fight against terrorism, “essential” for collective defense

The Secretary General of NATO has detailed that the strategic concept also reflects the joint position of the member countries of the Alliance on counterterrorism, cybersecurity and hybrid threats.

The document indicates the fight against terrorism as “essential” for collective defense and stresses that it is “an integral part of the Alliance’s 360-degree deterrence and defense approach”.

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“Terrorist organizations threaten the security of our populations, forces, and territory. We will continue to counter, detect, defend, and respond to the threats and challenges posed by terrorist groups, based on a combination of prevention, protection, and denial measures,” emphasizes.

Allies have also pledged to cooperate with the international community, including the European Union and the United Nations, to address conditions that “lead to the spread of terrorism.”

Cybersecurity Cooperation

On cybersecurity, the new strategic concept stresses that “cyberspace is in dispute at all times” and that malicious actors “seek to degrade our critical infrastructure, interfere with our government services, extract intelligence, steal intellectual property and impede our military activities.” .

“Authoritarian actors challenge our interests, values ​​and democratic way of life. (…) They carry out malicious activities in cyberspace and space, promote disinformation campaigns,” the document emphasizes.

Likewise, NATO’s new strategy indicates that allied countries will improve their capabilities to “operate effectively in cyberspace to prevent, detect, counter and respond to the full spectrum of threats, using all available tools.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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